WEST GROVE — West Chester Rustin’s Jon Reardon had one of those years as a sophomore last winter.
After a slow start due to a bout with mononucleosis in the offseason, Reardon’s season ended in the opening postseason tournament with a concussion.
Saturday, at the Bob Henry Classic, Reardon helped the Golden Knights to the team title with a hard-fought championship at 132 pounds, all while overcoming a stomach bug that tried to hamper his start once again.
“It was definitely a setback season, but it’s behind me now and this is a new season,” Reardon said.
Four Golden Knights — Brett Kaliner (120 pounds), Tyler Kaliner (126), Reardon and Dan Labus (145) — won their brackets, as Rustin outpaced runner-up Archbishop Wood by 59 points. Avon Grove had three champs, Kevin Edwards (152), Josh Walls (220) and Vince Walls (285).
Reardon trailed in the semifinals and finals, but fought back to pin Ridley’s Mike Cowan and then Wood’s Brett Yoos to start the year 3-0.
“I took it one step at a time,” Reardon said. “This is a good tournament for us to get ready for the season.”
Brett Kaliner started off a run of five straight Golden Knights in the finals, and the returning state qualifier was most efficient, earning a first-period fall. Freshman brother, Tyler Kaliner, notched three pins, including one in the first period of the finals.
James Spaniak (138) fell to Ryan Stocku of Penncrest in the finals, but Labus got Rustin its final champ with his third first-period pin of the day.
Costas Hatzipavlides (182) fell to Hamburg’s Ignacio Reynoso, a returning Class AA state qualifier, 4-2 in the finals. Brian Kent (160), Andrew Lamberjack (170), Isaiah Spriggs (220) and Connor Cummings (285) placed third for Rustin.
“Our coaches always stress to keep the past in the past and it doesn’t really matter what happened last year,” Brett Kaliner said. “I’m just going to wrestle the same way I did last year.”
Avon Grove struggled as a team, but was three-for-three in the finals. Edwards faced a fellow regional qualifier from last year, Ben Billings of Plymouth Whitemarsh, in the finals.
Edwards scored two takedowns to edge Billings, 5-1, in his first action as a middleweight after competing at 120 as a sophomore.
“I didn’t really know what to expect at 152 so I just went out and did my best,” Edwards said. “I definitely have to be faster because all the guys are a lot stronger than before. I’m confident I can still do well this year.”
Josh Walls picked up some confidence as well, knocking off Spriggs in the semifinals, 10-9 in ultimate tiebreaker. In the finals, he got an early lead against Ridley’s Leo Cassidy before decking him in the second period.
“Once I beat Spriggs I knew I could do anything,” Josh Walls said.
Vince Walls followed his brother with dominating performance against Plymouth Whitemarsh’s Quincy Williams before finishing him off in the third period.
- West Chester Rustin, 231; 2. Archbishop Wood, 172; 3. Plymouth Whitemarsh, 170; 4. Penncrest 155.5; 5. Hamburg 154; 6. Ridley, 130; 7. Avon Grove, 125; 8. Springfield (Montco), 59
106- Max Shaffer (Wood) pinned Beresford (Penncrest), 5:33
113- DiBattista (Plymouth Whitemarsh) dec. Veneziale (Wood), 6-2
120- B. Kaliner (Rustin) pinned A. Shaffer (Wood), :55
126- T. Kaliner (Rustin) pinned Johnson (Hamburg), 1:37
132- Reardon (Rustin) pinned Yoos (Wood), 5:03
138- R. Stocku (Penncrest) dec. Spaniak (Rustin), 4-0
145- Labus (Rustin) pinned Palage (Wood), 1:15
152- Edwards (Avon Grove) dec. Billings (Plymouth Whitemarsh), 5-1
160- James (Hamburg) tech. fall Barnes (Springfield), 16-0
170- Frank (Penncrest) pinned Heverly (Ridley), 5:07
182- Reynoso (Hamburg) dec. Hatzipavlides (Rustin), 4-2
195- Sudell (Plymouth Whitemarsh) pinned Murray (Wood), 2:54
220- J. Walls (Avon Grove) pinned Cassidy (Ridley), 2:27
285- V. Walls (Avon Grove) pinned Williams (Plymouth Whitemarsh), 5:11
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